Tuesday, March 17, 2009


The Magic of the Match online workshop continues for my MDSA group. Challenging, intense, and fun all describe my evenings.

It takes time to watch the pairs as they heel while three or four or five possible music choices for their freestyle routine plays in the background. Sometimes the match just jumps out at me (Magic!) and it's easy. Most times I compare, dither, change my mind, and eventually come to some sort of conclusion.

My daily mailbox typically has about forty-five emails from other members contributing their musical matches for the "On Stage" teams. One piece of music usually receives approval from the majority, but every melody has at least one fan that thinks it's the perfect match for that team. Well, maybe Hot Canary irritates us all...thankfully, since I pity the dog that has to listen, much less dance to it.

I'm sure I've picked at least one melody for a team that has made others wonder what I could possibly have been thinking. My only excuse is that if I really like a piece, then I want to find a dog that can dance with it. Or sometimes I dislike a song intensely enough that nothing could persuade me to match it with a dog, so I end up choosing something less than ideal.

Things that I've learned so far:
  • Music must compliment the dog's tempo while heeling. If it does, the dog could do nothing but heel and the couple would look wonderful.
  • Tempo is not everything, the music should also suit the dog's style--athletic, dainty, graceful, youthful, energetic, deliberate, etc. A musical selection could match the canine footsteps perfectly but be too heavy for a toy poodle or too feminine for an outdoorsy Labrador retriever.
  • Golly, then you have to consider the lyrics. Great tempo and style don't fly unless the lyrics soar too.
  • Lots of music is really "almost" perfect. I think some dogs move well to a wide variety of songs and it can be hard to choose which is best.
  • Fortunately, every song has been recorded by a plethora of artists. An "almost" song can become pure Magic with the right recording.
  • The better you know the dog, the easier it is to choose good music for a freestyle routine.
  • Conversely, not knowing the sex or age or personality of a dog can contribute to a poor musical choice.
  • Musical carries emotional weight (which is why there is never universal agreement about which melody is Magic).

Thank heavens that new matches come up On Stage only two or three times per week, otherwise my brain would be subject to Musical Overload! As it is, I dream of dogs and music way too often. Not to mention that I can't get Blue Tango out of my brain!

Here's the link but remember that this carries an earbug warning: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27aV9OTl8TM

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Dance Fever

My mom has it. That's why she hasn't been keeping up with our blog recently.

For Christmas, she gave herself (and me, of course) a membership to the Musical Dog Sports Association. Mom has given up trying to get Dad to dance with her, but I'm willing to do whatever she suggests as long as it involves either food or fun.

There are lots of groups devoted to dog dancing or canine freestyle, but she chose MDSA for lots of reasons. Number one has to be this amazing team:

I think Rookie is having way too much fun dancing with his person. And if he can have that much fun, so can I!

Turns out that Carolyn is a founding member of MDSA and that was enough for Mom who both laughs and cries each and every time she watches this video (she's a little misty-eyed right now).

Right now, Mom is spending time every day watching videos of dogs heeling with their persons and then listening to music. She says it's a trial-and-error process, but that there is something magical about having the right dog and right music. (If you say so, Mom.) She spends a lot of time sitting at her computer matching dogs and music, but she seems to enjoy it.

Sometimes you just have to let your person have some fun, even if it doesn't make much sense. Mom doesn't understand why I think cow flops are so enjoyable and I don't know why she likes YouTube so much--but we love each other anyway.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

It's Puppy Love

The dogs set me straight when I tried to get them to play tic-tac-toe with their x's and o's treats. It turns out that the treats are not made for canine tic-tac-toe games at all.

I don't know how I missed the fact that they are actually "hugs" and "kisses"! What a silly Dog Mom am I.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

Poor baby, I feel guilty for laughing but I've replayed this ten times and it's still a hoot.

Bizkit also barks loudly and actually sleepwalks. I feel guilty enough posting this video without embarrassing him any further.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


Fortunately, out of focus. Where did Zelda get a bacterial infection from???

Did she cut herself chewing on the sardine tin (yeah, we give our pups strange toys) and then drink from the rotting-leaf-filled pond that finally thawed? Did she get a cut chewing on fruit tree branches that I pruned and then dig in my load of topsoil? Did some bacteria sneak up on her and attack while she was dozing in the warm spring sunshine?

We've no clue. The only change we can figure out is the thawing of the mucky pond that she loves to drink from.

It started like scrapes on her chin, spread to her lower lips, and when it reached her nose we consulted the vet. One IV, a large vial of Keflex pills and a tube of ear ointment (we wouldn't have realized it had spread there but Kharma began to lick Zelda's ears for her) later...and a bill for over a hundred dollars...doggies can be expensive.

Day after day passed and the infection spread and the pustules enlarged. Her hair fell out. Do we call the vet again or not? Look at it each day--any improvement? We Googled "canine bacterial infection" and "Keflex" and decided the treatment was appropriate. If it would just work. Sometime soon.

By Saturday she'd been on antibiotics for six days and we thought maybe we were seeing granulation, but if there was any further spread another vet visit was in order on Monday.

This morning she turned the corner. She came out of the crate with a tinge of healing pink on them. No puffiness. Definitely better!

This was a long week. Let's hope the improvement continues!

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